How is the Inkosi Better than the Sebenza 21?

Discussion in 'Chris Reeve Knives' started by Lenny, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. Lenny

    Lenny Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 15, 1998
    Other than the thicker blade, which I really don't feel is necessary, how is it better?
    In my mind, Reeve took a huge step backward by eliminating the pivot bushing. With the Sebeza, there is no way you can mess up pivot tension during reassembly. With the Inkosi, I assume you have to trial and error it to get proper tension. AND YOU HAVE TO USE THREAD LOCK! If I'm way off base, please let me know.
  2. Therom


    Nov 13, 2013
    I have both sebenza and Inkosi in large and small versions
    After use my them for more than a year I end preferring the small Inkosi over the small sebenza and the large sebenza over the large Inkosi

    They are both very different knives so at the end it is just a question of personal taste

    Both are good to me.
    I prefer the hollow grind on the sebenza which, IMO, is a better slicer
    But I like the small size of the Inkosi
    The small sebenza may be a perfect EDC size but it is just too close to a full size sebenza for me.
    Maybe if I could have only one knife I will pick a small sebenza but as I can have 2 ...:)
  3. Signalprick

    Signalprick Jason Ritchie - Ritchie Handmade Knives Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 3, 2009
    I've owned at least 5 small Inkosi's and at least that many small Sebenza's. The lockface/detent, improved washer/blade stop design, extreame ease of disassembly for maintenance, easiest knife ever honestly, clip placement and yes, even the oversized pivot are all an improvement over the Sebenza IMO. Every Inkosi I've owned so far the tolerances have been so perfect that when reassembling the knife, once the non-lock side scales is snapped into place the blade is pretty much centered. A monkey can pretty much set the pivot screw and not fail on the Inkosi. Blade thickness on the inkosi compared to the sebenza is negligible in my experience. And the less hollow grind is actually more efficient once your blade gets deep into a cut. More like a flat grind but not quite. But if your preferance is Sebenza, that's fine, I'm not gonna argue or loose sleep over it. Both are great knives.....obviously! ;)
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
  4. Ajack60

    Ajack60 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    It's not better than the 21, just different. Why not ask if the Umnumzaan is better than the 21, after all the Umnumzaan came out before the 25/Inkosi. It has the same adjustable pivot as the Inkosi.
    The tension adjustment is for personal preference, I like mine just a tad bit stiff. I've never used the locktite on any of my 25's/Inkosi's or Umnumzaan's
    Absolutely agree if a 21 is assembled right, it's an easy task. However, when you put the stop spacer on the pivot instead of the bushing, it's a problem. Pinched washers are an issue with some folks with a 21. Some folks don't like the lanyard, so there's that issue about keeping the lanyard pin and getting creative so it won't fall out. Since there's more 21 owners than 25/Inkosi owners, it just appears that there are more minor issues with the 21 than the Umnumzaan, 25/Inkosi. I think it all is about the same. The tab on the 25 washer has been an issue as well as the flat spot on the stop pin in getting it positioned just right.
    Just different, that's all.
  5. Josh K

    Josh K Pirate

    Sep 29, 2008
    I swear you've asked this before but maybe it's a monthly recurrence and my memory is going away. I also don't have the time to be brief so you'll have to accept my repetitive ramble here.

    Adjustable pivot = better knife. Not only is the Inkosi simpler (less parts and better tolerances) but it's adjustable. Now I can have my knife the way I want it to be. With the 21 and bushing models you couldn't get that. Tension was set and the only way to change it was to send it back to CRK. They do a damn fine job but they don't know exactly how I want the action to be. Now with the Inkosi (and the Umnumzaan before it) you get that perfect action just the way you want it every time with no fuss.

    Once you enable the adjustable pivot you unlock a lot of other things. No more pinched washers. Washers (and bushing and stop pin sleeve) don't have to be hand-fit to every knife. Parts fit perfectly because CRK has such tight tolerances and those tolerances allow removing the bushing.

    Removing the bushing and making the 21 I'd say wasn't possible before since everything had to be oversized so it could be fitted down. Now everything is perfectly sized, perfectly adjustable, and I don't know what all the complaints are about.

    Side note on the threadlock, I use 222 on my 21s, my Inkosi, my body screws, and to brush my teeth in the morning. A little bit will go a long way and I've never had any problems. I have had 21 screws back out or loosen up slightly so now I use it everywhere.
  6. mongomondo

    mongomondo SUPPRESSING FIRE

    Sep 17, 2006
    I like the ceramic ball detent and the huge pivot. The knife just feels like a slightly different Umnumzaan. I don't miss the pivot bushing at all. Adjusting the tension takes 10 seconds.
  7. kniferbro


    Jan 22, 2011
    For me, it is extremely easy to set the perfect pivot tension on my 25 (same pivot as Inkosi). I have to use loctite on my tanto 21's pivot.
  8. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    Never had issues with any of my CRKs and never needed loctite on any of them either. But I just check all knives when I touch them up or sharpen and rarely but on occasion adjust a screw.

    Think it's more personal preference which model you like ... not a "better or worse than" issue.
  9. BellaBlades


    Jul 12, 2013
    Both good. Just different.
  10. Tseg


    Aug 25, 2018
    My Large Sebenza feels clunky to deploy/retract next to my small Inkosi and even my Umnumzaan. It’s wood inlays make it urguably more beautiful, however.
  11. blanco112

    blanco112 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 1, 2016
    The one thing I prefer about the sebenza is the blade thickness. That's literally the one thing I prefer. Otherwise I like the Inkosi. The action is preferable to me and I definitely like the ceramic lockup better as I get more lock stick than I prefer on Sebenzas. You don't always have to use thread locker and some people view the adjustable pivot as "you *get* to set your pivot tension" meaning it's a bonus.

    I think the sebenza is a nice knife and the pivot bushing is cool but I get those in my mnandis too. :)
  12. Lenny

    Lenny Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 15, 1998
    Thank you for educating me folks.
    And @Josh K I very well might have asked this question before.
    My memory has never been that good and I apologize if I have asked it previously.
    Josh K likes this.
  13. BellaBlades


    Jul 12, 2013
    After thinking about it.

    I prefer the following on the 21.

    - Blade profile and thickness .

    - Handle comfort. I could never warm up to the finger groove. It worked but was always on my mind when I used the knife.

    - The lock up , it's just a preference thing.

    - I like the idea of the bushing but I love the universal hardware. One size throughout.

    Regarding the Inkosi

    - Love the dual studs being standard

    - Over sized washers are cool

    - I do find the ceramic lock face creative but it just solves an issue that was never there for me.

    -Lanyard incorporated into the rear spacer

    I could see owning another Inkosi in Carbon Fiber some day if I get tired of my CF 21.

    Regarding performance they both are pretty equal. It just comes down the how they feel and function.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
    Spikediesel, Pennacnp and red mag like this.
  14. bart1

    bart1 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 24, 2009
    Isn't the real question what is the difference between the 21 and the Inkosi, or what do you prefer about either.. etc.??? I have a number of both and really believe it boils down to individual preference.... I prefer the thinness of the Insingo blade, and either platform is fine.
  15. SuckSqueezeBangBlow


    Apr 23, 2017
    I like the large 21 and small inkosi
    Therom likes this.
  16. Tseg


    Aug 25, 2018
    The small Inkosi (Micarta Insingo) has really grown on me as an EDC. It is small but super stout. I still toy around a lot with my large Sebenza and Umnumzaan but they just are so big. I do like my Sebenza drop point to cut up my apples. Ultimately the 1-click nature in the opening of the Inkosi/Umnumzaan and zero feedback from the lock bar unlock feels like a tighter, crisper action than the slightly perceptible scrape of unlocking the Sebenza and the 2-click lockup. The newer models are also more smooth feeling in general for me. That is not to say the Sebenza is not excellent and blows away most other knife brands in the deployment category, but the newer CRK designs truly are amazing. I will concede the thicker Inkosi blade and grind do make it slightly less slicey than my other two. At the end of the day I won’t kick any out of bed.
  17. Josh K

    Josh K Pirate

    Sep 29, 2008
    I may be on the wrong side of this opinion but I think I would like an Inkosi with a thinner (i.e. 21) blade. The 21 is already more than robust enough for me. But that's not going to happen so I'll be happy with the other improvements.

    Oh, and I think inlays on the 21 visually look better. The Inkosi isn't bad, but it looks a bit bare compared to the 21.

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